OK. Thanks for following up -- so ruling out anything 'unusual' (to me anyway) like armadillos.... are you saying the marauder was *attracted* specifically to your plants? That must have been heartbreaking especially if you had grown them yourself.
To me -- in my personal experience -- it seems unusual for animals to go directly for the planted solanacea like tomatoes and peppers and even to dig them up. Deer I suppose would but only crop the top off I would think? In my garden, unprotected plants -- even unpalatable ones -- might be sampled by young rabbits but they would nip them off, spit them out and leave them lying on the ground.
Pepper foliage is more likely to be eaten (my cats have been eating the leaves of the overwintered peppers in the house... then throwing them up ) but deer do eat tomato foliage. And I recently had a couple of my tomato seedlings eaten down to sticks and stubs by mice when I sprayed them with oil solution made with sunflower oil to treat them for mites.
GroundHOG would eat the plant tops down to the stub, but I haven't had them go after tomatoes... maybe peppers, though. Would they DIG up the pots? -- were they loosely planted? Where there was nothing left, does it look more like the plants were PULLed up out of the ground, pot and all? (back to the deer theory). The ground looks awfully dry though LIKE there was some digging going on.
Hm... were the seedlings very recently planted? Had they been previously watered or fertilized with some kind of organic fertilizer? Fish emulsion? But cats and dogs wouldn't eat the plants. That might encourage skunks, opossums, and raccoons to dig them up ...though I'm not sure raccoons would eat the tops. They are more likely to drag them off -- any remains further away?
Ha. Gary350 mentioned recently that turtles/tortoises can be a pest that raid his garden... I wouldn't have thought of that, but will mention it here just in case.
...as long as we are still exploring possibilities -- does the scene look anything like a large bird like turkeys or maybe Guinea hens might have pulled up the plants, ate them and then took a dust bath? (Are there any in your area?) if you were in a warm area further south - or California - I would include peahens in the poultry list of suspects. But I'm not seeing bird sctrach marks/tracks at all in the photos -- ANY discernible tracks/paw prints in the vicinity?